Trish at Where’s The Box/Another Piece of the Puzzle tagged me for my VERY FIRST meme! I’m supposed to list 5 of my Favorite Things. Here it goes:
1. Baseball Caps: As depicted above, this is a standard look for me. Baseball camp, hair in a pony tail or double braids. I prefer a low cap with a long brim area to shield the fact that I wear little or no makeup. This particular cap has been a favorite in my cap rotation for 10 years. I bought it while attempting to ski in Utah.
2. Summer Feet: When I was a child we roamed the neighborhood freely, frolicking in no less than three criss-crossing creeks brimming with crawfish, stopping only to gobble down Jif and white bread sandwiches. I lament my own children don’t enjoy such freedom, but I did submit myself to the purchase of a house lost in the age of “linoleum, brass and viney wallpaper” so they could have an ample back yard. Now I expect them to play in it. One of my favorites is when they actually do. And then they have feet like this. As they are supposed to.
3. My Hubbie’s Cooking: He tends to employ the unexpected–like this unorthodox marination technique. Note how he has stuffed the chicken down into the Crisco bottle. (It did make a fascinating sound when he squeezed it out.) The Indonesian Satay seasoning, incidentally, is GF/CF and MSG-free. Pretty tasty actually!
4. Tiny Farm Animals: I found these at Target, and paired with our new Spanish gluten-free clay, they provide hours of fun!
5. Children’s Watercolors: This latest piece by Sue was inspired by the perennial favorite If You Give A Pig a Party.
This is as close as they’ll get to seeing the new Batman Movie!
“Frog Legs and Ham! Who would eat that?” Joseph cried out excitedly. (I mean I heard it in a vague way from the deep recesses of the van but I don’t pay close attention to anything they say back there other than the words “brown,” “fountain” or blood.) I figured he was mis-reading a sign.
Still something about his tone of voice piqued my interest and I actually turned the van around. And I’m glad I did:
I find the “dinner seafood” both compelling and troubling: we’re not in a town remotely close to the shore. I guess scaring up frog legs couldn’t be that hard. And Ham? Why not tapas?
(I love the sandbags holding the sign in place.)
This says a great deal about our town, however, and none of it is hopeful. It’s a town obsessed with the super buffet–preferably the Jumbo Chinese variety. Portion size is all that counts. People are not concerned with health ratings, either. The town squelches out any quirky, ethnic or healthy restaurant that tries to emerge.
Why am I so bitter about our town? Why do I write about ham so much?
So, so quiet…infinitely peaceful…only the hum of the dishwasher competes with the occasional squeal of teens illegally driving golf carts up and down the hill in front of my house.
Why? Because I have locked my children outside with a tupperware bowl, 1 cup of coffee beans, ½ cup of bread crumbs, an open can of expired black beans, 4 slices of defrosting and inedible Glutino bread and several sticks. This is Occupational Therapy for the day! At our appointment yesterday, our OT recommended we start mixing textures during our tactile pursuits.
Mix away, my dear ones!
Just visualize those neurons connecting!
This is the havoc they wreaked earlier today when I was trying to craft a post:
I suppose they were connecting neurons then, too.
Or perhaps driving me further toward seizing that sample box of Lexapro…
When Edward turned two, he declared/deduced that poo poo should actually be called “brown” (because most of the time it was brown). He then proceeded to call it such in all situations. We have had to explain this lexical confusion/genius? to teachers, babysitters, friends’ parents: “If he says he needs to ‘make brown,’ that means he needs to poo poo.”
Our entire family has embraced this terminology for the past four years—even grandparents and great-grandparents: “No, we’ve got to hurry, hurry! He said brown—brown do you hear me?”
This of course changes the meaning of seemingly innocuous comments like “Brown Head” or “He smells like brown.” Or, “I think there is dog brown on my shoe.” “What’s that on the carpet—it looks like brown!” Or the ever-popular: “This casserole is yuck–it tastes like brown!”
Not to mention the hilarity when reading Mr. Brown Can Moo. You get the picture.
So now, not to be outdone, Sue has labeled tee tee “fountain.” And now we have conversations like this: “Is it brown or just fountain?” “There’s a little bit of fountain on my princess potty.” “Uh-oh…fountain in the car seat!” (Fountain over brown any day, I say!)
(There will be a lot to explain at preschool this year…perhaps I should prepare a handy glossary card.)
Today we were two hours away at Edward’s bi-monthly OT appointment, and we spent a generous amount of time trudging from gas station to “fast food outlet,” princess potty seat in hand, because a girl can’t “fountain” in a Sprite bottle or potato chip bag like a small boy.
Once we were headed back to our smallish town and were miles away from any potty spot, Edward announced his immediate need. Still, this is no problem, we simply pulled over in some unsuspecting church parking lot. He perched adroitly at the edge of the van door and relieved himself: “Look! I’m a weed ‘pee er’! I’m covering those weeds–look!” Sue heard this and immediately screamed, “I want to be a weed ‘pee er’ like Edward! I want to fountain a weed! Let me out of this car seat so I can fountain!”
I ran around all day Friday getting ready for the “Supper Club.” Yet when I finally arrived home, I found my home stifling and a tad smelly.
Certainly the air conditioner has not gone out three hours before my supper club?
I hastily called the heating & air people and plead my case: Dinner party for 13 at my house in three hours…inlaws coming…three small children…
The fellow they sent out could not have been nicer. He tried everything–he really did–there was simply nothing to be done: “You’re not gonna wanna hear this, ma’am…I mean it’s 85 degrees in here right now and I can’t do anything with ‘the unit’ until tomorrow…it’s froze up…don’t think you’ll be havin’ any sort of party here tonight…”
You know the weird thing is that I did not panic. Usually I would panic. Yet this time, I just laughed. I figured God was showing me what an amazing sense of humor he had after I complained and whined about having to actually cook–and then didn’t actually cook anything (except baked potatoes) after all.
So I called Ashley and told her the news. “Do you think people will mind eating here if it’s that hot?” I asked hopefully. “What if I set up some fans?” She set me straight: “No. I’m not coming to something like that. Who wants to sit there in that heat with a baked potato steaming up in their face?” This is the kind of candor I need in a friend. She even offered to have the party at her house, which is conveniently located around the corner. And she even mopped and vacuumed and took no time to get herself ready before the party because that is the kind of friend she is.
So I baked the potatoes at her house, and shlepped the rest of the food over in the Town & Country, which gave me an opportunity to use my trusty pot holders.
And when I got home after the party, I looked in on the last living Kindergarten Graduation fish because he seemed a little peckish the night before. (I had changed his water and had high hopes that he would rally.) He was way down in the decorative rocks…looking for food..submitting to his watery grave.
All things Kindergarten have fallen away.
Every Friday, I will review a Gluten Free/Casein Free (GF/CF) product from the perspective of my 6-year-old, Edward, who has been on the GF/CF diet for 6 months. I personally have spent a small fortune trying GF/CF fare from countless grocery stores, health food stores and online venues. Many of my choices have been met with Edward’s great disdain and disgust. A few, however, had moved on to to become treasured favorites. It is my hope that these reviews will save others the pain and expense of throwing away $6.00 loaves of bread and $3.00 cookies! Enjoy!
GLUTINO FLAX SEED BREAD
“It looks like an ant sundae.”
“It is disgusting and smells rotten. It looks like a thousand germs have been spread on it.”
He will not eat this product. Maybe I should throw it away, or perhaps conduct tests to see if birds will eat it. It cost $6.99. Beware!
While hospitality is not particularly high on my list of spiritual gifts, and my friends are secretly thankful due to my woeful lack of kitchen creativity, I am a member of a little “suppah club,” as we call it down here, and this Friday night is my night.
(I was actually supposed to host this event at my home four months ago, but that was in the middle of removing/saving Edward from the computer magnet academy Kindergarten class, and I was far too stressed to prepare food for my own family, much less this supper club set. Instead, I offered to bring several bottles of red wine to the only brown bag restaurant in this chain-restaurant obsessed town and everyone agreed unanimously that this was much safer and pleasant for all involved.)
I dodged that bullet only to come back on the rotation for July. So H, being the kind, generous, supportive husband that he is, offered to go to Sam’s with Edward to procure the items I needed for this most basic sort of menu: Pork Tenderloin, Baked Potatoes, Garlic Green Beans and Banana Pudding.
This is sort of a pinnacle menu for me, and H has offered to grill the tenderloin and prepare the green beans, therefore leaving me unfettered to focus on the pudding and starch because, as he encourages, “You are so good with the baked potato.”
And if that’s not damning with faint praise, I don’t know what is.
(If all else fails, I do have a giant Cheez Whiz Spaghetti casserole sitting in my freezer. It’s been waiting in the wings for the next shut-in, and I relish the security of this preparedness like Pa would a smokehouse full of venison. Note the Kinnickkinnick gf/cf bread in the upper left-hand corner–Edward’s favorite!)
Edward watches H carefully select the super packs of pork tenderloin. He screws his face into his signature snarlish growl. “Not PORK! Have you forgotten about trichinosis? How long are you going to cook it? No one should eat this!”
Of course, he blathers on and on about foodborne illness and trichinella worms until H bribes him with Brewsters. He quiets down with the promise of his favorite casein/color/artificial flavor-free lemon sorbet.
Fast forward to the Brewsters. H and Edward are waiting in line. A young man approaches the window carrying a largish zebra-striped purse that he is apparently planning to give to his girlfriend who works at the Brewsters. Edward immediately bellows:
“Look at that hip hop man carrying that purse. Now that is just wrong!”
Another father leans over to H, amused concern in his eyes, and kind of whispers: “Did he say ‘hip hop man’?”
There’s really nothing all that profound going on today except I went to bite into a Rold Gold sourdough pretzel and saw this:
It’s some sort of translucent plastic rod that’s broken off from the pretzel factory equipment, I’m guessing. This is such an awesome find I’m not sure what to do, but I’m terribly excited! Do you think I’ll get free Rold Gold pretzels for life? Here’s the bag:
Oh, and my house is so crumb-ridden that ants are, in Edward’s words, “feasting gloriously.” He and Sue have spent the last 45 minutes finding more crumbs on the floor to feed to the ants. It’s a good day here.